Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on May 3, 1998 · Page 33
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · Page 33

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Sunday, May 3, 1998
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Chicago Tribune, Sunday, May 3, 1998 Section 3 11 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SOCCER D.C. UNITED 3, FIRE 1 Late goals lift loss streak to 5 ,1 i jTM.i,i,'3wit, .mam- - w M li f Tribune photo by Phil Velasquez Northwestern quarterbacks Mark Broxterman (12) and Nick Breinbrink get ready for Saturday's session. NU offense: Much ado about nothing By Rick Morrissey Tribune Staff Writer Either Northwestern's backups are ready to challenge Michigan for the Big Ten title, or . . . well, Gary Barnett doesn't want to consider the alternative. The alternative is that next season Northwestern's starting oflense will produce as much heat as a 60-watt lightbulb. The starters edged the backups 6-3 in Saturday's spring game, leaving Barnett alone with one thought III stay patient, but boy, I hope this gets better soon. That doesn't sound like a mission statement "I've got to be careful," Barnett said. 'There's a fine line between being alarmed and learning some things. My experience is, sometimes when you have a game like this, there really is a problem. It's a situation where you can just say, 'Ah, it was just spring ball, a spring game.' "At the same time, you've got to understand that you're dealing with real young kids, especially on offense. You've got to take all that into consideration and not be overcritical. As a coach, you've got to sort out everything and see what it is you're alarmed with and what it is that is just a matter of patience." There were some bright spots at Ryan Field. Gavin Hoffinan, who came into the game a step ahead of the other quarterbacks, might have inched forward a bit more. The freshman completed 9 of 19 passes for 78 yards, with a long of 38 yards. Sophomore John McArthur, who also worked with the starters, was four of seven for 40 yards. "I'm satisfied in the way I played," Hoffman said. "There's a couple of plays I would like to take back. I'm kind of disappointed in the way the offense moved the balL I've got to blame myself for that" The game's initial first down didn't come until the first play of the second quarter, and it came from the backups. The starters didn't pick up a first down until there were 3 minutes 24 seconds left in the first half. They had five all game. "It's a young group," Hoffman said. "We've just got to keep maturing together, keep working hard. No one's getting their heads down. We know we have the talent. It's just a lack of experience right now. We need to solidify a leader and go with that "I'm disappointed, but I'm not pushing the panic button either." Brian Gowins kicked field goals of 29 and 44 yards to give the starters all the scoring they needed or would get. Tim Long hit a 30-yard field goal for the backups. Three of the four quarterbacks who played have no college game experience. The two running backs who saw the most action Damien Anderson (23 car-' ries, 95 yards) and Brian Marshall (21-58) are freshmen. Barnett knows his team has a lot of work to do. The offensive line looked leaky. Receivers dropped five passes. "Our goal for spring is to come out and figure who are the top 11 or 15 guys on each side of the ball," Barnett said. "We've been able to sort that out and at the same time realize that in your top 11 or 15 you may have some weaknesses and now you've got to get them shored up by fall." By Bob Fottman Tribune Staff Writer So this is why Marco Etcheverry is wanted in France. . D.C. United's playmaking genius had a large hand in the Fire's fifth straight loss, 3-1 Saturday night in front of 27,136 at Soldier Field. With the score tied 1-1 in the 86th minute, Etcheverry sent a pass into the Fire goal box, looking to hook up with a front-running Richie Williams. But Williams was unable to get a foot on the ball. Fire goalkeeper Zach Thornton was following Williams and when Williams failed to reach the pass, the ball slowly trickled into the net "It's not the prettiest goal but we'll take it," D.C. United coach Bruce Arena said. All the more frustrating for the Fire was that the goal came one minute after the Fire just missed taking the lead. Fire forward Ante Razov was pulled down just outside of the D.C. penalty area to draw a free kick. Lubos Kubik took the free kick and banged his shot off the crossbar. Jesse Marsch sent the rebound over the crossbar. On the ensuing restart, Etcheverry worked his magic. Two minutes after taking the lead, D.C. put the game away for good, with Etcheverry again acting as the protagonist Etcheverry took the ball into the Fire penalty area from the left side, stutter-stepped to lose one defender and then sent a perfect cross onto the head of Ben Olsen, who guided it into an open net for his first professional goaL The Fire was short-handed in two ways Saturday. First Peter Nowak injured his foot and had to leave in the 26th minute, replaced by Jorge Salcedo. Then Roman Kosecki was sent off with a red card for "violent conduct" in the 65th minute. "We felt the rest of the guys did what they could to hang in there," Fire coach Bob Bradley said. The Fire took the lead in the ninth minute when Frank Klopas scored his fifth goal of the season off a rebound from Chris Armas' shot D.C. tied it in the 19th minute when Roy Lassiter blasted home a cross from Tony Sanneh from about 5 yards out. INSIDE THE FIRE Rival coaches are familiar with one another's methods ; By Bob Foltman Tribune Staff Writer Fire coach Bob Bradley and D.C. United coach Bruce Arena go back a long time. Their association began in 1982 when Bradley was an assistant to Arena at the University of Virginia. Bradley then took the head coaching position at Princeton but continued to assist Arena with Olympic development teams and the Olympic team in Atlanta in 1996. Saturday's contest was the first time they faced each other as professional coaches. Bradley's most memorable battle against Arena came in the 1993 NCAA semifinals, with Arena's Virginia Cavaliers defeating Bradley's Princeton Tigers 3-1. "People ask me how exciting it was to take Princeton to the semifinals," Bradley said. "I've always said that it's tough to lose to a friend and have to hear about it for the rest of your life." As United's world turns: Like the Bulls, D.C. United has had its share of controversy this season, and like the Bulls, it hasn't affected its play on the field. The drama started back in the winter when United was forced to trade prolific scorer Raul Diaz-Arce to New England because of salary-cap restrictions. That deal angered United's loyal Latin American fan base, who booed the team and cheered Diaz-Arce's every touch when New England played at Washington. It continued with the John Harkesnational team situation. There is also the Marco Etcheverry-to-France transfer story that picks up steam every other day. "It's hard to stay focused," Arena said. "But if it's not one problem it would be another. And, as people in Chicago know, this isn't unique to prr fessional soccer. Maybe we've now made it as a league." New look: Bradley made two significant lineup changes Saturday. Jerzy Podbrozny ancl Jorge Salcedo started the game on the bench with Brian Bates, getting his first start and play ing minutes of the season in the midfield along with Jesse Marsch in a 3-5-2 format Roman Kosecki and Frank Klopas started at forward. The Kosecki-Klopas pairing is a return to the opening-night pairing in Miami, .' Klopas had to leave the Colorado game in the final 5 minutes after spraining his ankle but pronounced himself fit Saturday. 1 Mark your calendar Two more changes have been made to the Fire's schedule. The Aug. 26 game in Columbus has been moved to 6:30 p.m. July 9 and will be televised on ESPN. Also, the time of the Sept 10 game at Dallas has been changed to 7 p.m. and will be seen on ESPN2. Vote early, often: Voting for this year's MLS All-Star Game begins Sunday. The first chance for fans to vote at Soldier Field will be May 20 when Los Angeles is in town. The format is different this season. Instead of having teams from the East and West conferences, MLS will have a U.S. squad and a World squad; much as the NHL did in its North America versus the World. The game is set for Aug.' 2 in Orlando. The Fire's Salcedo and Klopas. are on the ballot for the U.S. team, while teammates Jorge, Campos, Lubos Kubik, Peter Nowak and Kosecki are on the ballot for the World team. pmlma fm 8 SUPER LUBRICANTS amr . D u i lM i IMuesl i ' tdnt i I i Cm In-Ad Coupon Valid 53-5998 f I CARSURFTOfl ' ) Fuel Injector Cleaner & Carburetor Cleaner 12 oz. 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